Ask A Celebrant - CCN Blog

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More CCN Blog posts can be found in the Blog Categories to the right.
Jan
10

I'm Getting Married!... Now What?

You've just proposed marriage or been propsed to, you're wearing an incredible ring and you've announced your engagment to your loved ones..... now what?  Well, here begins a very exciting time of planning for you you both!
For some of you this proposal might have come as complete surprise and for others it might be the final stage to what could have been months of discussion and planning.  Now that you’ve made the biggest decision - to get married, there are just a few more smaller decisions that need to be discussed and decided upon before your wedding day can be realised.
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Jan
09

Celebrant Planning

Are you new to the celebrancy world?  Trying to become more organised? or just wondering what a celebrant does?  Check out guest blogger, Susie Roberts' list of everything a celebrant needs to plan to help keep you on track....

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Dec
19

How to deal with December Stress

This time of year can be chaotic!  It's the end of the year, school is nearly finished, if it hasn't already; there are end of year work parties, Christmas parties, birthday parties for those people born in December who always have to compete for a free Saturday night.  You're buying presents - desparately trying to think of the right gift and battling with thousands of other people in the same boat.  There's more cars on the road and less parking spaces.  Some people will be having family members to stay which might mean higher levels of anxiety.

If only we could think of ways to reduce all that stress....
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Dec
11

Marriage Equality - 1 year on...

We have a guest blogger today - Robyn Foster "Celebrations by Robyn".  Robyn gave support, along with countless others, to the Australian Marriage Equality campaign and its leaders.  Here is her story...

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Oct
16

Why use a translator or an interpreter in Australia?

Are you getting married in Australia?  Do you or your partner have limited English language skills?  Are you or your partner hearing impaired?  What about the two people you've chosen to be your official witnesses?  Perhaps you have guests coming to your ceremony who don't understand English or are hearing impaired?  There are a number of reasons why you might need to engage an interpreter or a translator when you are getting married....

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Sep
28

Outdoor Wedding ideas

When you're planning a lovely outdoor ceremony, you would generally think of how beautiful the scenery is, how the area matches your theme or perhaps there is a sentimental reason you've picked this spot, but rarely do you think about whether or not your guests will be eaten alive by mosquitos.  

Here are 7 fabulous outdoor ceremony ideas to make sure that your ceremony it's too hot, too cold or overrun by mozzies.....

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Sep
18

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a practice that helps to bring your attention to the present moment and enables you to be aware of your senses and feelings at that point in time.  You can be mindful by paying attention to your body and/or breath. This means not thinking about the past and not worrying about the future. Rather, just being in the ‘now’. Find out how being mindful can help you...

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Sep
03

10 Reasons why you should join CCN

CCN is a not-for-profit association for professional civil celebrants with a focus on promoting our celebrant members and a range of ceremonies and celebrations to the public.   CCN Members are marriage celebrants, religious celebrants, memorial and funeral celebrants, family and naming celebrants, student celebrants and celebrants for all occsions.

Here are just 10 of the reasons why you should join us...

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Jul
24

Celebrating family members

Celebrating family

We have birthdays, mother's day and father's day... but what about everybody else in our family?  When do we celebrate them?

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Jul
04

The Kiss - What's appropriate?

Keep on kissing

We kiss people every day, and we generally know what's appropriate for each situation... but you know, the first kiss after the celebrant declares you married? The one with everyone watching as you lip lock in public with the cameras and videos working overtime. Yes, that kiss. That's not an everyday kiss that you will automatically know what to do. Today we're looking at what type of kiss is appropriate...

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May
22

How much does a marriage celebrant cost??

Civil Celebrants charge their own fee depending on the services they provide.  There is a myth that goes around from time to time that Civil Marriage Celebrants charge from $500 for 20 minutes work.  Let’s explore this myth a bit further and see where it takes us...
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Apr
29

Renewing Your Vows – What’s the Point?

Throughout people’s lives, there are many good times as well as challenges and hardships, and it is how we react, how and what we feel and think, and the choices we make that can impact our journey.
 
 
People marry and mostly, their lives together are full of love and dreams.

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Some couples at some point in their marriage, choose to renew their vows. Why? There are many reasons for this. An example is gratitude for their marriage and wanting to revisit their vows to once again declare their love for each other.

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Some couples have many ups and downs and it is the strength of their love and relationship, and rising above adversity that prompts them to celebrate by renewing their vows.

Marriage is hard work and sometimes couples feel worn down and at breaking point. It feels like the weight of the world is on their shoulders.

Life can become a test of balance with juggling and compromise.

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Sometimes you just don’t want to know about it

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You’re tired……You’re depressed …………and you just want to close your eyes.

And time is speeding on by.

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With hard work, quality time, reflection, kindness, caring, listening and hearing, gratitude for yourselves and your family, you again find balance, perspective and appreciation.

Getting through the tough times and being stronger for it is another example and a great reason to celebrate your relationship by Renewing your Vows.

Renew your Vows with your children.  Celebrate your achievements in creating a family

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A great way to involve children, especially blended families is by including a Sand or Candle Lighting Ceremony

candle ceremony

Look for  CCN Celebrants in your area to help you create a beautiful ceremony during which you renew your commitment to each other

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Apr
17

Baby Naming

As a celebrant, it is a great honour and pleasure to be asked to conduct a baby naming ceremony for a couple I have married. 
 
It gives me a chance to see the couple again and hear of their activities and achievements since their wedding day. In addition, it means that I enter into a new relationship with them as their “family celebrant”.

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Once you have a “family celebrant” you can call on them for every family occasion, happy and sad.  From cradle to grave there are many life events that your "family celebrant" can help you to celebrate in a sincere and meaningful way.  Your “family celebrant” gets to know your family so whatever the occasion they will be able to help you make the very best of the celebration.

One of the happiest events is of course the welcoming of a new baby into the family.  Where the parents choose not to have a christening or other church ceremony they will often ask a civil celebrant to conduct this welcoming ceremony. 

It does not matter if the baby is a tiny newborn, one year old, a lively toddler or perhaps an older child who has been adopted into the family. The timing is something for the parents to consider.   A naming ceremony is a ceremonial way for extended family and friends to officially welcome the newcomer.

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While the format can be discussed between the celebrant and the parents, it often includes an explanation of the name,  promises of love and support for the future from family – such as parents, grandparents and older siblings as well as the traditional godparents -often called sponsors or guides in a civil ceremony. 

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Siblings and cousins might offer love and gifts together with promises to teach and share with the newcomer.  Candles, bubbles, rose petals, balloons and similar symbols can contribute to the ceremonial messages as well as providing entertainment for a guest list that will often contain many other children.  Music of course is essential – often including the latest from the “tiny tots hit parade”.  

Party food is invariably an key component of the event.

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Sadly, civil celebrants often perform naming ceremonies in hospitals for very sick newborns and even incorporate a naming ceremony into a funeral service for stillborn babies or those that only have very short lives.   While many celebrants are very experienced in such ceremonies your “family celebrant” will be a special source of support and caring at such a difficult time.

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Why not consider finding a “family celebrant” from the Civil Celebrations Network and building a relationship that will grow through many family occasions in the future.

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Apr
11

Supportive Relationships

  
How many times have you have you heard the words “If only my spouse was more supportive? “

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Or, “I try my hardest to be supportive, but my spouse doesn’t seem to notice my efforts?”

supportive couple

Sometimes both of these statements are true, as we often don’t connect with what the other person is doing.

There is a wonderful book called “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman in which Chapman outlines his suggested Five Love Languages, and how they best need to be supported, as well as how they support others.  These are :

Receiving gifts
Quality time
Words of affirmation
Acts of Service (devotion)
Physical touch
 
In my home, my husband is motivated by Acts of Service, so his way of supporting me is to cook dinner, or go shopping, or do some household chores, whereas I am motivated by quality time……..I love spending time over a beautiful meal just chatting, or heading to the beach for a day out with a picnic lunch. And getting these two differing needs and styles of support to gel is often a tricky balancing act.

The book goes into detail on how to support your partner, and there is a quiz so you can determine what your love language is

Love Scrabble letters blog

 
What are some other tips on how to be a supportive partner?

Listen to what your partner is asking for. Really listen and if you aren’t clear on their needs, ask more questions.

reaching out

Once you have listened, then pay attention to your spouses clues…………..and believe me, they will have been dropping plenty!

Put your partner first………when you are making a decision, put your partner’s needs  foremost in your mind, and involve them.

Say sorry………when necessary. Stubborn partners who will never apologise are boorish. Saying “yes, you are right” goes a long way in a relationship.

sorry 

Help……….around the house, in the garden, with the kids, with the shopping………help is always very welcome.

Be there for them………you are a team, so declare it, and act on it.

Spend time together regularly…………without the kids, without friends and relatives……..some quality couple time.

Ask………those magic words “What is it you need from me right now”.

And finally…………find some time each day to say something nice to each other, and to laugh together.

loving couple

There are many ways you can be supportive, and if you aren’t feeling supported, then ask loudly and concisely for the support you need as a first step, then perhaps start reading some of the resources that are available online and through your local library.

 

You and your partner could celebrate your love and support for each other with a ceremony - perhaps on an anniversary or birthday please check out the list of CCN Celebrants to find one near you.

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Mar
15

Funerals

FUNERALS

Civil funeral celebrants are a popular alternative today and contrary to some beliefs are often happy to include religious components to the ceremony. 

The role of the Celebrant is to work with individuals and families to create and conduct a ceremony appropriate to the person; it is important to spend time with them to makes sure you are clear about what they want and that you can provide it for them. 

Often people are not sure what they or their family member would have liked as they never had the conversation, particularly with sudden deaths this is when your role as Celebrant is really important.

The type of ceremony may be in keeping with any cultural traditions, religious, or spiritual beliefs. The ceremony should attempt to address all the relevant aspects of the individual. It can be important for close people to have input and to be involved, to create the best possible and most beneficial experience.

Some of the inclusions for the ceremony may be a dress code, colourful or stylised, a eulogy, spoken tributes or memories (serious and humorous), poetry, readings and music. 
Choosing the music can be a great starting point.

Families may also want to connect to people who can’t be there in person by live-streaming the funeral, recording the ceremony or taking photos.

Increasingly, family members and friends of the person who has died, adults and children, actively participate in the funeral services. For example, they may wish to light a candle, share memories, read a eulogy, lay flowers on a coffin, play music, blow bubbles.


This requires flexibility, not only in terms of physical space, but also when it comes to the duration of a funeral service.   It’s hard to predict how much time people will need to celebrate a life, say goodbye and let go. Time slots at crematoria are generally 20 – 40 minutes so it may be appropriate to hold a ceremony outside of the crematorium or to continue the celebration at a wake.

Funerals assist people in their acceptance of their loss and in saying goodbye to and letting go of the physical body as it is buried or cremated. A good ceremony can contribute to the feelings of healing for the bereaved. A bad or unsatisfying one can compound sadness or grief and make the situation for the bereaved even more distressing.

People do not die for us immediately but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive.

It is as though they were traveling abroad. ~Marcel Proust

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Jan
30

Leaving things to the last minute!

Leaving things to the last minute!

I think we're all probably guilty of a bit of procrastination every now and then.  Perhaps when you have a list of tasks ahead of you - like when you're planning a big event - like say, your wedding and you think that if you leave it for a bit, the list will get shorter or some angel will come along and take all the planning off your hands... and there is no harm in a little procrastination.  


However there is a problem if you leave it so long that you miss out.

Booking wedding creators, like marriage celebrants, photographers, videographers, stylists and florists  is something that you can't afford to put off.  Popular venodrs & venues can book out their entire availability of Saturdays a year or even two in advance.

If you've met a wedding vendor that you've clicked with, then lock them in.  



If you've seen the lovely park or bay where you'd like to hold your ceremony, call the council immediately and see if you need to book the space and purchase a permit.  



If you've tasted some amazing food and then found out that cafe does catering - pay the deposit then and there!




What might cause unnecessary disapointment is leaving things to the last minute and then missing out.  That's not to say that the next vendor isn't just as great, and your day probably won't be ruined and let's face it - you'll still be married at the end of it all..... but when you've got your heart set on something or someone.... it's hard not to be disappointed when your long drawn out plan doesn't come to fruition, especially when you could have booked them if you'd not fallen foul of the procrastination bug!

I'm going to make things super simple for you - CLICK HERE and you can easily search for a CCN Celebrant in your area...

Call them... Book them in... Job done √

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Jan
13

Death Doula

Today we are proud to present one of our CCN Members, Elaine Dinnigan as our guest blogger.

Death Doula
 
"While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die."
~Leonardo Da Vinci
               
Death is a natural and important part of life.
Death Doula

Death Companion

Death Midwife

End of Life Guide

These are all names to describe people who choose to provide information and or services to the dying and their family.  I choose to call myself an End of Life Doula.

The name “doula” originates in Greece and means "a woman who serves” and was given to those who served women through the lifecycles, hence the term 'birth doula' for those who support the beginning of life.

End of Life Doulas work alongside other professionals, family and friends, utilising non-medical skills. They accompany, guide and assist the dying person and their family providing information and support.  Doula services can be provided in the home, aged care, palliative care facilities and hospitals. It is a heart centred practice that empowers individuals and the family and allows the grieving process to follow a gentle path.


The Chapel of Bones - Portugal - Photo Credit: Dominique Fouet

 I personally provide end of life planning, support visits, family relief, vigils, home funerals and on call services.

As an End of Life Doula, I view myself as part of a renewed death positive movement moving away from the medicalisation of death allowing people choices about dying at home and refusing life extending treatments.

In Australia this happens through advanced care planning and includes advance health directives, Enduring Power of Guardianship and Enduring Power of Attorney in Western Australia.



If you would like to contact Elaine for further information you can find her here: 
www.facebook.com/deathdoulaperth
Boy, when you're dead, they really fix you up.
I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something.

Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery.
People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap.
Who wants flowers when you're dead?
Nobody.

~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye,1945

For further information on ceremonies relating to death and grief, please click HERE

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Jan
02

New Year's Resolutions

Why do we make New Year's Resolutions?
 
We make them every year and a couple of weeks into the new year, we're inevitably disappointed because we didn't stick to them.  In fact apparently only 8% of people stick to their resolutions - mainly because we set goals that are either unobtainable or could be achieved, but when we don't see results straight away, we quit.

So why do we make them in the first place?

The following is from: www.wonderopolis.org
The tradition of New Year's resolutions dates all the way back to 153 B.C. January is named after Janus, a mythical god of early Rome.

Janus had two faces — one looking forward, one looking backward. This allowed him to look back on the past and forward toward the future.

On December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking backward into the old year and forward into the new year. This became a symbolic time for Romans to make resolutions for the new year and forgive enemies for troubles in the past.

The Romans also believed Janus could forgive them for their wrongdoings in the previous year. The Romans would give gifts and make promises, believing Janus would see this and bless them in the year ahead.

And thus the New Year's resolution was born!



Looking backwards over the year that was is a great way to evaluate and reflect on your life and your business and then choose some things that you want to improve on.  

In the celebrancy world, goals might look like this:


* I want to perfect the way I meet and greet my clients
* I'm going to work on making my ceremonies feel more natural
* This year I'm going to learn what 'SEO' is and put it into action



These sorts of goals can run side by side with your goal to:

* get/stay fit
* lose weight
* give up smoking
* spend more time with you family/friends



The 1st of January signifies a new beginning, but each new day is also a new beginning and therefore you can reset your goals day by day.

Maybe your goal this year is to join a fabulous celebrant association..... well you can tick that goal off your list when you click on this link HERE



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Dec
19

Special Holidays - The dark side of celebrating

As Australians gear up to summer with public holidays and end of the year/new year celebrations, it is time for focus on families and friends.

Whether you are of a Christian faith or another faith - we have a wonderful mix in Australia - or have your own ethical value system based on respect for your fellow human beings and our world, the coming holidays are a special time.

Whilst these days we tend to think of holidays are being times where we are exempted from work or normal business, the origin of the word "holiday in English was hāligdæg, meaning a holy day.
 
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A “Holy Day” usually means a day set aside for a special purpose or remembrance and the origin of the word connected with Old English hal (see hal) meaning "health". 

Holidays are healthy - for taking time out - for being thankful for what we have in our lives - especially family and friends.

What is special about this time of year under the Southern skies?

The end of one calendar year and the beginning of a new. Time to take stock, trim the old and embrace the new.

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So why a "dark side"?

An end to the old and embracing the new is often symbolised by the birth of a child. Along with the joys of having a new bub, can come sadness with the loss of personal time, as well as the previous roles and pleasures as non-parents. 
 
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Other things some people have to deal with at this time of year are:

Dealing with death

Many people find the emphasis on loved ones - family and friends - especially difficult when a loved one has died.  

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Dealing with loneliness

Playing 'happy families' once a year for families who are fractured, can cause more pain than pleasure. 

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Dealing with stress


Big holidays come with extra stress, eating and drinking too much, and extra work, especially for those with children and other dependent family members. 

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Dealing with debt


Of course, sometimes we spend more than we planned.  

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Many famlies these days are finding ways to limit the money they cannot afford to spend. 

There are many ways to do this
One example is:
  • Make other love languages as important as gift giving. After all for many people, the other love languages are more important : quality time, touch/hugs, acts of service, words of affirmation. 

    CCN even suggests a combined group gift certificate for a Wedding Anniversary or Birthday in the new year where everyone contributes to the gift of engaging a professional celebrant to lead the occasion.

    cake 2048732 400
    Search our CCN Directory for a CCN Celebrant near you.
Read CCN's full article  on Special Holidays - The dark side of celebrating for more examples and ways to deal with some of issues mentioned above.

Remember - Holidays are meant to enrich our lives, our health and well-being. 

Let's make that the focus of this special time of year. 

family 2611748 400

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👏🏼 We would love it if you would let us know what you think 🤔.  
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Also please feel free to share 🎁 our blog on your social media 📲 so we can spread the love 💞! 
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Dec
02

Surviving an Australian Summer

Surviving an Australian Summer

Australia is a pretty big place - 7.692 million km² to be exact.  We cross 25 degrees of longitude and 35 degrees of latitude as well as three timezones - so we're spread pretty wide - which means that we have a number of different climates.

In our south and mountainous areas, it can get super chilly in the winter, whereas in our north the same months see temperatures around the 30s.  In the summer months, all over the country can see dehydratingly high temperatures, whilst the far north experiences tropical monsoonal rains.

In more recent years we've noticed that the hotter months seem to be happening a bit later and typically dry times of the year are seeing lots of rain - which means that we can no longer plan our ceremonies with any certainty that we're going to get what we hoped for.

Just this week - a December weekend in Victoria - historically a dry time of the year, has seen devastating rain and flash flooding - possibly not what most people thought would happen when they planned their ceremony 12-18 months ago.



Here are some ideas to help you survive a summer ceremony in Australia
(and strangely enough, they won't all be about the sun!)

1. Provide shelter.
Most adult guests will be able to make up their own mind as to what to wear to your ceremony - however, not everyone will want to put a hat on over their new 'do' and carrying an umbrella might be a hindrance - so to make sure your guests are comfortable from the time that they arrive and are waiting for you to arrive all the way through to when they can head to your reception - offer shelter.  It might be an inside ceremony, under a marquee, umbrellas, hats, sunnies or even hiring palm leaf swishers.  Offering shelter will be much appreciated..... nobody wants to sit in the sun sweating or indeed stand in the rain, especially if they've made an effort to look fabulous for your special day.



2. Offer refreshments
Iced mint water, a lemonade stand, mimosas.... it will be very much appreciated.



3. Have a Plan B
Even if you don't to use it, it's peace of mind to have it at the ready should the meteorologists deliver unwanted news on the weekend of your ceremony.  A big percentage of couples state, "It's going to be a beautiful day.  We won't need a Plan B." To those couples, I say, "Please listen to your celebrant/wedding planner/friends/venue manager when we suggest to you that you need to have a Plan B." We promise not to say "I told you so" when the sky opens up.



4. Consider how far you are asking your guests to walk
Your dream ceremony location may not suit the guests you've invited.  Can Nana walk all that way down the sand dune?  Do you think Pop can climb up the side of that mountain?  Will the people wearing high heels appreciate having to walk across that field?  Does anybody want to walk 2kms in the heat/rain?



5. Consider the time of day
The majority of ceremonies are held in the afternoon and this is understandable - people want to use the morning to get ready or travel and they'd like their ceremony to flow straight into their evening reception, whilst taking advantage of dusk for great photo light..... but you don't have to do it this way - consider making your ceremony later in the day when it's cooler, just before the sun goes down... great light, cooler, happier guests.



5. Offer your guests sunscreen & mozzie repellent
..... and burn some citronella or spray some essential oil magic to keep the bugs away.



6. Wear appropriate outfits 
If you have had your heart set on a large, puffy, lots of material wedding dress, and 3 piece suits.... then perhaps the beach isn't the ideal setting for you.  Sand is not designed to be walked on in shoes (especially heels) and heavy, layered outfits are not designed to be worn in the blazing sun.  Always think "Comfort! Comfort! Comfort!"  This goes for your guests as well - set an appropriate dress code for your guests so they know it's ok to kick off the heels for the ceremony.



7. Check the weather
There are a number of Apps where you can easily check the weather the week before giving you plenty of time to be prepared.  Willy Weather gives you information on the temperature, rainfall, wind, sunrise/sunset, UV index and tides - all essential things to know about when planning an outdoor (beach) ceremony.



8. Know the weather in your area
Being able to check the weather is great, but having a bit of knowledge about the weather (especially the wind) in your area can be crucial to the planning process.  And if you're holding your ceremony in a different location from where you live - ask your celebrant - they'll know.



Studies have shown that the ideal temperature for people to be able to focus and take in what is being said is 22 degrees, so if you want your guests to be mentally present at your ceremony, then strive for the ideal climate, anyway you can.


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Nov
14

The Marriage Equality Postal Survey Result

Marriage Equality – a statement from the National Committee of the Civil Celebrations Network (CCN) Inc

Today people across Australia have clearly shown their support for marriage equality and celebrant members of Civil Celebrations Network (CCN) Inc welcome the fact that we are one step closer to enabling all loving couples to marry if that’s their choice.

CCN was founded in 2008 on human rights principles.  It follows that we support the rights of all couples to marry, a right that is enjoyed already in more than 20 countries around the world.    

Parliamentarians now have the responsibility to review and debate the Bills and Amendments that will come before them in the coming weeks.   CCN will be watching the parliamentary deliberations with great interest.  We look forward to debate that is respectful and thoughtful resulting in changes to the Marriage Act 1961 and marriage equality for all.

Sonia Collins
Chairperson, Civil Celebrations Network (CCN) Inc
On behalf of the National Committee
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Oct
31

Questions to ask other than... "How much do you charge?"

Questions to ask other than... "How much do you charge?"

Yes, I agree - sticking to a budget is very important when planning a ceremony - of any kind, especially a wedding which can blow out very easily.  However when you're choosing your celebrant, price should be the last question that you ask about.  You are going to engage a person that you probably haven't met before to perform the ceremony at one of the most important events of your life, so wouldn't you like to know a bit about them?  Wouldn't you like to know that they are a good fit and are able to provide the service that you have dreamed about?

Asking any wedding supplier if they available on your chosen date is probably the first question you would need to ask, but there are a few other questions that are more important than price that can help you to make sure you are a good fit for each other.



When you book your caterer, you would probably first ask if they can provide the food that you want served

When you book your band or DJ, you would first ask if they can play the music that you want for your reception

When you book your reception venue, you would probably first ask if they can accommodate the amount of people that you are inviting

So, why then, when people book their celebrant do they make their first question all about price?

Do they think that all celebrants are the same?



Do they think that all celebrants do is turn up for 20 minutes on a Saturday and say some words? 
(See last week's blog for what celebrants really do)

Well, there are over 8,000 civil celebrants registered with the Attorney General's Department and with that comes over 8,000 different personalities, styles and ways of doing things.  So here are a few more questions that you might want to ask to make sure that you are hiring the perfect person for the most important part of your wedding day.  

Remember, without your celebrant, you're just throwing a really expensive party.

1. Are you available?

2. What services do you offer

3. What are your thoughts on marriage equality?

4. How many ceremonies have you performed?

5. What made you want to become a celebrant?

6. I would like to have my horse as my best man - do you like horses? (or other niche requests)



7. Do you provide a PA system?

8. Do you speak any other languages other than English?

9. Are you willing to travel?

10. Are you willing to dress up in a costume?

11. Would you like to perform our ceremony?



12. We'd like our dogs to carry the rings.... are you ok with dogs?

13. We're naturists and we'd like a nude ceremony - are you comfortable with that?

14. Do you have ideas for including our children/family in the ceremony?

Every couple and every ceremony is going to be different and not every celebrant is going to fit the wants and needs of every one.  So meet with potential celebrants and ask questions and if you find a celebrant that ticks all of your boxes, that's when you'd ask about their price.....

Remember, the most expensive isn't always the best so it's important that you find the best fit.  Celebrants will charge you what they think they and their services are worth, so if you've found somebody who is perfect for you and they're available, then my guess is that they're worth every cent!



To find a CCN Celebrant in your area - click HERE

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Oct
23

A behind the scenes look at being a civil celebrant

A behind the scenes look at being a civil celebrant



Have you ever wondered "What exactly does a celebrant do?"

Have you ever thought "Gee, that looks like an easy job - just talking for 20 minutes on a weekend!"


Well, you can be half forgiven for thinking those things because you might only see the celebrant for 20 minutes on a weekend, but the majority of a celebrant's work is done way before they turn up at the ceremony.



Before your ceremony they will have:

Attended meetings and rehearsals, researched, writen a unique ceremony that suits each individual couple or family, assisted couples and families with writing their own personal wedding vows or poems to their children or loved ones, organised paperwork, including accepting the legal Notice of Intended Marriage form, answered questions, given opinions and made suggestions.  

Then your ceremony day arrives and they will arrive at least 45 minutes before your guests to make sure everything is perfect, greet your guests, calm people's nerves and then perform your ceremony, coordinating the music and the bridal party and the flower girls and page boys and whoever is holding the rings.  They will also be kind and compassionate and have an very good understanding of what you're going through when you are saying goodbye to your loved one.

After your marriage ceremony your celebrant will lodge your marriage certificate with the BDM and securely keep all of the necessary legal documents.



And that's just for your ceremony.

They've also kept their office running with invoices, receipts, notes, creating, printing, filing, purchasing legal stationery, financials, taxation, websites, social media, advertising...



Before any of that can happen though, each celebrant must successfully complete a Certificate IV in Celebrancy and then once the certificate has been awarded, the candidate then must apply to the Attorney General to become registered.  This is a fairly costly exercise - $600 for the applicaiton alone and that must be paid whether the AG registers them or not.

Each year every registered civil celebrant is required to attend an OPD - (Professional Development) at their own cost.



So, whilst you might only see the Celebrant for 20 minutes whilst the ceremony is happening, please be assured that they have worked very hard before the ceremony even starts.

If you'd like to meet one of our hard working CCN Celebrants, click HERE for find a celebrant in your area.

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Oct
17

Why Join a Celebrant Association?

  Why join a Celebrant Association?
 
Are you studying to become a marriage celebrant? 
Have you recently been appointed as a celebrant? 
Are you an established marriage or funeral celebrant?
 
Do you want to network and continue to improve your skills and knowledge?

 

Did you answer YES to any of these questions?

Then why not consider joining a professional celebrant association? 

 wedding ring 736896 640

There are a number of celebrant associations in Australia – they are listed on the Attorney General’s website. 
Most associations belong to the peak celebrant body, the Coalition of Celebrant Associations (CoCA), where association delegates work together to advance celebrancy as a profession and provide advice to the Attorney General’s department on matters related to celebrants.
 
  You can read more about CoCA on their website www.coalitionofcelebrantassociations.org.au

business idea 680787 640

Each association offers its own approach, so you should easily be able to find one that meets your needs.
 
Let us introduce you to our association
the Civil Celebrations Network (CCN) Inc.

 

CCN member logo

CCN is a not-for-profit incorporated association that runs as an online association – no meetings to attend and everyone can participate equally.  We have a strong focus on informing the public about ceremonies, celebrations and our celebrant members.  

What can you expect as a member?

 
A Directory of members -manage your entry, add info and photos to promote yourself


A discussion forum where you can ask questions, share ideas and information

 Daily emails that tell you what topics are currently being discussed on the forum
 
Great social media presence – informing the public about ceremonies and our celebrants
 
Special projects that help you to promote your services to the public
 
Regular newsletters to keep you up to date
 
Member discounts at our online celebrant shop for stationery and other celebrant needs
 
Discounted professional indemnity and public liability insurance
 
Low cost CAL copyright licences
 
Discounted professional development – join other members in online and face-to-face OPD
 
Low membership rates for student celebrants - get a head start

 

Our website is full of information about celebrants, ceremonies and celebrations.  Many pages are available to the public and celebrants generally but many more pages are for our members’only.
 

You can join now for as little as $40 to the end of March 2018     

We’d love you to have you as a member.

handshake 2009195 640

 

For more information about CCN as a celebrant association - check out our website 
or call for information on 0434 699 415



And if you'd like to speak to a celebrant to help you with your next celebration - simply click HERE

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Oct
03

Why would I want to know about relationship education?



Why would I want to know about

relationship education?



Today’s blog starts off with a legal note about the rules that are set out in the Marriage Act (and the Guidelines to the Act) for all Commonwealth Registered Civil Celebrants.



Rules
To quote “As soon as practicable after receiving the NOIM, an authorised celebrant must give the parties a document outlining the obligations and consequences of marriage (subsection 42(5A) of the Marriage Act). This document has been approved by the Attorney‑General in the form of a brochure entitled Happily Ever Before and After, and indicates the availability of marriage education and counselling and other important legal matters concerning marriage.


A notation of the giving of the document should be made by the authorised celebrant in the appropriate space on the reverse side of the NOIM. If the space is left blank it will indicate that the authorised celebrant has not fulfilled their obligations.”

Scales
And, yes there is more with the Code of Practice stating “ Item 6 requires Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants to maintain up-to-date knowledge about the range of information and services designed to enhance and sustain marrying couples throughout their relationship, not just in the period immediately preceding the marriage ceremony. Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants must also inform marrying couples about this range of services. Meeting this obligation requires ongoing action by Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants. The family relationship services available in their area should be reviewed by them annually at least to ensure the information they provide to marrying couples is up-to-date.” 
So, what do all of these legal words mean? 

Relationship blog pamphlet
Your Commonwealth Registered Marriage Celebrant is legally required to give a copy of “Happily Ever Before and After” to both the bride and groom as soon as practicable after receiving your Notice of Intended Marriage. 

This handy brochure outlines some points that you might need to consider:

  • Health and welfare benefits
  • Changing your name
  • Citizenship
  • Making a Will
  • Taxation after Marriage
As well as some information about strengthening your marriage with:
  • Before Marriage : Marriage Education
  • During Marriage : Family Counselling
  • Marriage Breakdown : Dispute Resolution.

This brochure has also been translated into a variety of different languages if English is not your first language. Your celebrant can obtain a copy for you very quickly as they are also available in PDF format.  The brochure also provides information about the Family Relationships Online Website and Advice Line.

Relationship blog Family Relationship

The other important part of the legal requirements for all Commonwealth Registered Marriage Celebrants, is that your celebrant must keep up to date with information about the local Family And Marriage Counsellors in your area, and should provide you with a list of these practitioners at the time that they give you your copies of “Happily Ever Before and After”.

Relationship Education and Counselling has gotten a bad rap over the years, with people thinking it is only for couples who are heading for the divorce court.

However, Relationship Education prior to your wedding can highlight all the good parts of your relationship where you are really compatible, and tease out the areas that you might need to work on, and let’s be truthful, every married couple has a handful of these.

Most counseling is done in a relaxed setting, with lots of talking, lots of laughter, lots of agreement, lots of ah-ha moments and lots to take home to discuss.

Relationship blog discuss


Counseling Services in your area can support you before getting married and throughout your marriage if tricky issues become sticking points, and they offer a safe space to discuss the myriad of concerns that every married couple has over the years, especially in this fast paced, high stress society.

Counseling is no guarantee, but it can provide a solid framework of understanding for your marriage to grow.

Click here if you'd like to speak to a CCN Celebrant about getting married or obtaining more information about Relationship services in your area.

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Sep
26

It's Time



It's Time!


Spring equinox 23rd September 2017


It's officially spring....
the flowers are blooming...
 new life is emerging....


Photo courtesy of The French Click

IT'S TIME to book your celebrant

If you are planning on getting married anytime in the next eighteen months (that’s how long your NOIM is valid for) then call and book your celebrant soon and get that paperwork done.

You can still get married this spring if you're quick, the Notice Of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form must be lodged with your celebrant one month before the ceremony; plenty of time still for a November wedding.


Photo courtesy of The French Click

IT'S TIME to plan your summer celebrations

Clean up the garden, pack away the winter clothes, and make your bookings for festivals, concerts, holidays, backyard BBQs and beach weddings.

elaine blog3
Photo courtesy of The French Click 

IT'S TIME to have your say on marriage equality


Interesting Fact from Wikipedia: With several countries revising their marriage laws to recognise same-sex couples in the 21st century, all major English dictionaries have revised their definition of the word marriage to either drop gender specifications or supplement them with secondary definitions to include gender-neutral language or explicit recognition of same-sex unions.  The Oxford English Dictionary has recognised same-sex marriage since 2000. 


 Haven't Voted Yet?
  
Fill in and post your Vote as soon as possible and if you would like more information visit

CCN's Marriage Equality section. 

elaine blog4


Remember not to add anything other than the response required (i.e. no comments, no glitter, etc) or your survey response could be invalid.

If you’ve lost or damaged your ballot, you can request a new one from the Australian Bureau of Statistics here any time before October 20th.

IT'S TIME to begin planning the final celebration

If you plan on living your life to the end, then you can start by talking to a celebrant about recording ‘your life story’ or filling in those important documents such as: Advance Health Directive, Enduring Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Guardianship, a valid Will (who gets what) and emotional will (words of love and wisdom)



Don’t leave it to your family to make difficult decisions at an emotional time, have the conversation now.

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Passage of Time

Sadness passes with time 
A hollow field blanketed with snow 
Soon fills with swaying blooms A darkened sky suddenly illuminates            
A weary traveller’s way 
And Spring follows a Winter’s road 
Which butterflies array 
Somewhere, somehow, shadows 
Give way to sunbeams 
Life’s fabric is painted with promised purpose 
And each day new freshness springs 
Laughter envelops an empty room 
And a broken heart sings 
With an abandonment of joy 
As it finally kisses the dawn 
Of a bright new day!


Little Pebbles and Stepping Stones, Compositions from the heart by Ruth Van Gramberg - 2005


For more information on any of the above or to contact a Celebrant near you visit
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Sep
06

Simple ways to donate to charity

Simple ways to donate to charity

Charity doesn't have to be a huge grand gesture, costing you hundreds of dollars that you may not be able to spare.  

Charity can come in many different forms...

* Monetry donations
* Donations of your time
* Donations of goods or services
* Lending an ear
* Being able to feel empathy for people who are in a less fortunate situation to yourself



Here are some ways that you could help that you might not have thought of before.

If you're a celebrant or someone who offers wedding/celebration services you could donate a percentage of each ceremony to a nominated charity.  Either choose a charity that is important to you or you could work with each individual client and decide together where that particular contribution will go.



If you're someone who is having a ceremony/event you could...

- Have one, two or three tip jars - each labelled with a different charity... let people either donate money directly, or give each person a token to put into the preferred jar and you donate that amount to each charity at the end.
- Ask your guests for donations to a chosen charity in lui of gifts
- Make it a themed event where your guests pay a gold coin to join in - all proceeds go to the charity of your choice.



This is how you "Party with a Purpose"

For more information about partying with a purpose - check out our website

And if you'd like to speak to a celebrant to help you with your next celebration - simply click HERE

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Sep
01

Celebrating CCN's Day of Love 2017

Celebrating CCN's Day of Love -  1 September 2017

Why have we spent all day shouting about love all over our Social Media pages today?



Because, as Celebrants, all of our work is about love 💕

When we marry a couple, they are deeply in love, and the wedding service more often than not reminds the couples attending about their love story.



When we perform a funeral there is a great deal of love in the room for the deceased and for the family members.



When we name a child at a Naming Ceremony everyone there is full of love for the child.



When we officiate at significant birthdays and other events, there is always lots of love woven into the ceremony.



As Celebrants, we can make your ceremony of LOVE the most memorable time of your life. 

So, what are you waiting for?

Check out our amazing group of Celebrant. 

You won’t be disappointed. 


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Sep
01

Day of Love Ceremony Credits

"I hope you don't mind
that I put down in words
 
How wonderful this life is
while you're in the world"
 
 
Elton John



Each of these celebrants is offering you a credit for any ceremony if you call today to make a booking. 

So, check out these amazing celebrants and get on the phone and start booking .... #sharethelove



Shell Brown - Mandurah, WA


Elaine Dinnigan - Perth, WA



Sonia Collins - Batemans Bay, NSW

 


Susie Roberts - Grafton, NSW

 


Fiona Hall - Central Coast, NSW



Anna Wong - Melbourne, Vic

 You can find all our other fabulous celebrants HERE 

Thank you for being a part of CCN's Day of Love

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Aug
08

Why should I engage a celebrant?

Why should I engage a celebrant?

Having a skilled celebrant can mean the difference between an event being mediocre or being an inspiring, memorable tribute to people who have a special place in our lives.
 
Like any good entertainer, the time a celebrant spends in front of the audience is only a very small fraction of the time spent in their practice and acquiring the knowledge and skills to perform well.

A good celebrant is much more than a good performer. They need to be researchers, writers, facilitators, psychologists, social workers and community developers, and well as masters of ceremonies.


Photo: Pixabay

Engaging an independent professional civil celebrant to take the time and responsibility to create and deliver a memorable ceremony brings a number of benefits, such as:

* everyone who attends can participate without the pressure of being responsible for the whole thing

* the occasion can be more memorable because a celebrant can bring a fresh perspective to a group

* family stories can be shared and recorded for future generations as part of the process and/or event

* family and friends talents, not just the MC's, can be included in the occasion.


Photo: Pixabay

Ceremonies and celebrations can be powerful occasions to mark big changes and support us in embracing new roles or situations in our new lives. 

The power of ceremony in times of change can not be overestimated. 

More than material gifts, as nice as they can be and needed in some cases, people need wonderful times with family and/or friends, new ways to see themselves and others, to think about the tasks they are going to undertake and the support and acknowledgment of others in their new role or new time in their lives.

What's why letting "the celebration be the gift" can be the most precious gift of all. You can do this by pooling your funds to appoint a celebrant.


Photo: Pixabay

Click HERE to find your local CCN Celebrant in your area

Cover photo credit: Shelley Wilton Photography

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Jul
26

The Order of a Marriage Ceremony

The Order of a Marriage Ceremony

Weddings today reflect the wishes of the couple.  They may be held in any venue at any time or on any day.  Your choice might be a beautiful building, a garden, a boat, a forest or beach.  Apart from some legal requirements you can structure the ceremony however you wish.

Talk to your celebrant about your ideas.  

Many people like to keep some of the traditional structure of a wedding ceremony so here is a run down of a traditional ceremony.

The Procession
The groom and his groomsmen are waiting at the end of the aisle with the celebrant, in front of the guests.  The bride, escorted by her father then follows her bridesmaids, flowergirls and pageboys down the aisle to meet her groom.  The bridesmaids, flowergirls and pageboys take their places on either side of the bride and groom ready for the ceremony.


Photo by: Kingen Smith - Inside Weddings

A more modern way to enter is to have both the bride's parents walk her down the aisle, the groom walk down the aisle with his parents or the couple walking down the aisle together symbolising that they are taking this next step together.

The Celebrant's Welcome
This is the part where the celebrant will say hello, welcome and then thank the family and guests for coming to the marriage ceremony of the bride & the groom.  The celebrant will also introduce themselves and state that they are duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to the law - that part is a legal requirement.

The Monitum (The Warning)
This is when the celebrant stresses to the couple the seriousness of marriage using these words:
"Before you are married in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses,
I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter."

And then explains what marriage means in Australia using these words:
"Marriage, according to the law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life."

The Exchange of Vows
There are personal vows and then there are legal vows.  These are generally said one after the other.  Your personal vows can be anything that you want to say or promise to your partner at that moment; they can be as long or as short as you want them to be; they don't have to be the same as each other, they just need to be meaningful to each other. 


Photo: Pexels

The legal vows must say these words:
"I call upon the people here present to witness that I, (full name), take you, (full name), to be my lawful wedded wife/husband."

The Ring Exchange
Exchanging rings is a traditional ritual in a marriage ceremony, however it is not a legal requirement, so you don't have to do this part - or you can exchange different gifts.

You can include the ring exchange whilst your saying your legal vows or you can do this part straight after your vows each saying special words like: "I give you this ring a sign of my love and commitment."


Photo: Pixabay

The Pronouncement of Marriage
Once you say your vows in the presence of the celebrant and your two witnesses, then you are technically married, however traditionally the celebrant makes a statement to make it official "I now pronounce you husband and wife".

The Kiss
You are allowed to kiss anytime you want during the ceremony, but traditionally you are meant to wait until after the celebrant pronounces you "husband and wife" and then it's socially acceptable for you to go for it!


Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Signing of the Register
Once the marriage is official, then the bride, the groom, the two witnesses and the celebrant must sign 3 documents - the marriage register - which the celebrant keeps; the official marriage certificate - which is sent into the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages to be registered and the commemorative marriage certificate - which you keep.


Photo by: Shell Brown

Final Words
The celebrant says some final words and gets the guests ready to welcome and celebrate the new married couple.  Also, they will sometimes give instructions or directions for the guests to follow for after the ceremony. 

The Recessional
This is where the newly married couple grab each other's hands and race back down the aisle and into their brand new future, followed closely by the bridal party, then they all congregate and wait for all their guests to come and congratulate them.

 
Photo sourcPexels


Remember - this might be the traditional order of events in a marriage ceremony, but (apart from the legal wording and placement of that legal wording) you can add in other rituals, readings, poetry and stories, and you can involve family and friends into the mix which really helps to make your ceremony your own.

If you would like to speak to a CCN Celebrant about how they could create a unique ceremony for you - jump to our website and FIND A CELEBRANT in your area today.

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Thank you for 
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👏🏼 We would love it if you would let us know what you think 🤔.  
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Jul
18

I just got engaged - now what do I do?

I just got engaged..... now what do I do?

This is a common question asked by many a couple getting married for the first time, and in fact, it is still asked by people on their second and third time around.  Getting married is not an everyday occurrence, so it's not a natural thing where people simply 'know' what to do.

This is where your friendly, local CCN Celebrant comes in.  We can guide you through the legalities and what you need to do and know before, during and after your marriage ceremony.  We will work with you to create a ceremony that is tailored to your style and personalities and can be completely unique to only you.

If you'd prefer a religious ceremony in a religious building like a church, then you would need to contact the minister in that church for information regarding any special requirements and a third option is to make an appointment at the Registry Office in your state.
First things first….. let's make sure that you and your partner are eligible to get married in Australia.

1. Is your relationship between one man and one woman?
2. Are you both 18+? (speak to your celebrant if one of you is 16+)
3. Are you related to each other in a direct line?
4. Have you given at least one months notice to your celebrant?
5. Do you both consent to the marriage?

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You and your partner will need to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form and lodging it with your chosen celebrant at least one month (and no earlier than 18 months) before the ceremony.  Your celebrant will then make sure it's all in order and check your ID.
 
An ID needs to do two things:
1. show where and when you were born and
2. prove you are who you say you are

A passport does both of these things, but don't worry if you don't have a passport, you can still use your birth certificate and a driver's licence.  

If either you or your partner has been married before, you are required to show the original divorce or death certificate proving the end of the previous marriage.  Your celebrant must see these documents before they can legally perform the marriage ceremony.

Once you have the legal paperwork down, then depending on the type of wedding you are planning, there are a few other tasks that you'll need to add to your list, but as they are personal and unique to you and your partner, each couple's list will look a little different.

Here are some things your might include to your list of decisions:

The Date
The first thing to do is chose a few possible dates and then confirm with your chosen celebrant which date they are available. 

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The most popular month to get married in Australia is October closely followed by November and March. 

62% of all weddings in Australia happen on a Saturday; 15% on a Friday and 11% on a Sunday.... it's a good fact to remember that whilst there are 52 Saturdays in the year, there are only 12/13 in those three most popular months, so you're going to want to secure your celebrant as early as you can.

The Venue
You'll need to decide if you're going to use the same venue/outdoor space for your ceremony and reception, or you might have separate places in mind. 

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Popular wedding venues/public ceremony spaces will book out 12-18 months in advance (sometimes longer), so if you have your heart set on something in particular - get in early, otherwise go for something a little different that won't be overrun by brides and grooms. 
Outdoor spaces may require council approval - check the local council websites for information. 

If you are choosing an outdoor space make sure you consider seating, especially for older guests.  You'll also need to think about the weather - your dream might be of a bare foot beach wedding, but you'll have no happy guests if it's 40 degrees on the day and there is no shade.  Which brings me to the vital importance of having a solid Plan B in place.  It's great to think positively and hope that the rain holds off, but if it doesn't, then you have a logistical nightmare on your hands trying to organise your 120 soaked loved ones into a nearby gazebo designed to hold 10. 

Plan B people - Plan B!

The Guest List
This will come down to a few personal factors: budget and size of the venue being just two,
just remember, it's your day and you might want to consider if you really want to share it with a bunch of people you don't really know?

The Bridal Party
This tradition stems back to the olden days when people believed that evil spirits were afoot with a plan to steal away the bride before she had a chance to be given to the groom by her father - usually for some sort of fee.... 

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Photo source: people.com

Today, things are a little different and besides having somebody to arrange your hen's/buck's nights and hold up your dress whilst you use the bathroom, there really isn't a need for a bridal party anymore. 

If you're going full on traditional with your bridal party, it can become quite an expensive exercise for you and for your chosen ones when you consider they have to buy a dress/suit, shoes, travel, have their hair, make up and nails done - maybe things they wouldn't have forked out for as a plain old guest.  Having said that, there are less expensive ways to organise everything and it's also good fun to be able to share the day with your favourite friends, so this is a personal choice.

The Photographer/Videographer 
There are some people who don't care too much about having photos of their ceremony and they will usually have a cousin who owns a 'big' camera who said he would take the photos... 

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Then there are the people who hired a professional photographer on the way home from becoming engaged... 

and then there's the people who thought they didn't care too much about having photos of their ceremony until about a month or so after the wedding and the cousin showed them the 7 out of focus photos he took of their special day and now they wished that they'd hired a professional photographer...

This is obviously a personal decision and one that would come down to budget, but if you're going to spend money somewhere..... this would be a good choice.

The next photographic decision is whether to have your ceremony "Unplugged" 

I vote yes for this reason!

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The Flowers
Carrying a bouquet of flowers started being a thing back in the days when people didn't shower all that often and the pretty scent was meant to mask anything unpleasant on your day of days. 

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Since showering has become more popular, carrying flowers has become less vital, but people still like to carry them though because it seems to complete the bridal look.  If you feel you have to carry something, there are plenty of options other than flowers, A few examples I've seen: a bouquet of broaches, a purse, a sword, their baby and, a puppy. 

The Wedding Attire
The majority of couples getting married like to follow the tradition of wearing a suit and/or a white dress, however if you choose to wear anything else - at all, then you will be no less married than your frocked up peers when it's all said and done. 

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Some people feel that they wouldn't feel right if they didn't wear a traditional wedding dress, and to those people I say - you wear what ever you feel good in.

The Transport
Remember to think about the logistics - how are you, your partner, your parents, your grandparents, your bridal party, your cousin with the camera and the bouquet puppies going to get from the house to the ceremony.... then from the ceremony to the reception..... then home?  And who is taking all those dogs home after the photos?

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The Music
There are certain sections in the marriage ceremony where music is suggested: 

1. When the bride or couple enter
2. When they leave as husband and wife
3, During the legal signing of the register. 

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Music is such a personal thing, it's a good idea to sit down together and decide what you want to say through song.

That just about covers the most important part of the day - the actual getting married bit and the rest of your planning will be for the reception and possibly your honeymoon, so here is where your celebrant registers all your legal paperwok and wishes you all the best.

For more information about getting married - please check out our CCN website... oh, and congratulations!


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Thank you for 
joining us....

👏🏼 We would love it if you would let us know what you think 🤔.  
There is a comment section 👍 at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  
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Jul
11

Show me the Stats

Show me the Stats

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics dated November 2016, there were 113,595 marriages registered Australia wide in 2015.

The number of marriages decreased in 2015 by 7,602 - down 6.3%

81.1% of brides and 79.1% of grooms were marrying for the first time.

16.3% of the marriages included one partner who had been married before.

Marriages where both partners had been married before were at 11.7%

The median age for men getting married was 31.8 years and for women it was 29.8 years - both ages increased from previous years.


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Couples who lived together prior to marriage accounted for 81%

54.2% of couples married in 2015 were both born in Australia.

 Out of the couples married in 2015 31.9% were born in different countries.

13.9% were born in the same overseas country.

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Civil Celebrants have overseen the majority of marriage ceremonies (since 1999) at an average across the country of 74.9%

If you would like to engage a civil celebrant for your marriage ceremony, commitment ceremony, vow renewal, baby naming ceremony or any other event that you'd like to celebrate - including memorials and life celebrations - then please contact one our fabulous CCN Celebrants

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Thank you for 
joining us....
👏🏼 We would love it if you would let us know what you think 🤔.  
There is a comment section 👍 at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  
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🐘 Don't forget to subscribe 💌 to this blog - the "subscribe" button is up the top of the page ⇞⇞⇞ and the blog will magically 🙌🏾 appear in your email inbox 📬.
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Jun
29

Should we get Married in Summer or Winter?

Should we get Married in Summer or Winter? 

Summer Weddings versus Winter weddings

When and where to hold your wedding are probably two of the biggest choices you will make and they go hand in hand.

Do you want a balmy summer day so that you can get married outdoors?

or

Do you prefer a cosy intimate celebration centred around a roaring fire?
 
In Australia the majority of weddings take place in Spring and Summer with only 5% of marriages taking place in June and July.
 
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However both have their positives and negatives so let's look at some of the factors that may influence your decision:

Weather:
How do you picture your dream wedding... exchanging vows with a beautiful sunset in the background or a roaring fire? Points to consider about the weather:

*  In summer you need to plan for excessive weather changes such as rain or extreme heat.
* In winter you know it is going to be cold so you and your guests can dress accordingly. 

* In summer you may have daylight saving so longer hours to enjoy the sunshine.
* In winter the shorter days may dictate the time of your wedding. 

The Wedding Dress:
How have you pictured your wedding dress… sleeveless, backless, light and summery, long sleeved?  Although the time of year may not influence your choice of wedding dress you will need to consider some extras for a winter wedding such a shawl or jacket and it is not always easy getting it to match your dream wedding dress. And don’t forget your bridesmaids who will feel the cold a lot more than you as they don’t have the same amount of adrenalin to keep them warm, so will need extra clothes. The amount of clothing is much less for a summer wedding. 

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How Quickly do you want to get Married?:
How quickly you want to get married after your engagement may determine the season in which you marry. 

* It is far easier to book many of the wedding vendors at short notice in winter. Popular venues and photographers are booked well in advance for a summer wedding. There is greater availability and choice in winter.
* It is often cheaper to book popular vendors in winter because prices become negotiable as they are less busy. In summer you may need to pay a premium for the more popular vendors. 

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Flowers:
Do you want your favourite flowers for your bouquet? Flowers are seasonal so the prices will vary a lot depending whether they are in season or need to be imported. If you are happy to use only seasonal flowers you have a greater choice in summer than in winter.  

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Practicalities:
Practicalities include all the extra little things that need to be considered for a wedding.
* In summer that would include providing shade for your guests for the ceremony, lots of cool drinks, umbrellas on hand for sun or rain and an indoor alternative venue for rain or sun. 

* In winter that would include hats, gloves, shawls, warm drinks and an outdoor alternative if its a nice sunny winter day. 

Whether you choose summer or winter there will always be a CCN Celebrant free to perform your ceremony so contact your local CCN Celebrant now. 

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Thank you for 
joining us....
👏🏼 We would love it if you would let us know what you think 🤔.  
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🐘 Don't forget to subscribe 💌 to this blog - the "subscribe" button is up the top of the page ⇞⇞⇞ and the blog will magically 🙌🏾 appear in your email inbox 📬.
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May
29

A Wedding Day Checklist for Celebrants

A Wedding Day Checklist for Celebrants 

As a celebrant do you have a written checklist for what you need to do on a “wedding day”?

After nine years of being a celebrant, you would perhaps think that I might have spent some time and written down a list, but as yet I haven’t, so I thought we could do one together. I will put up my thoughts in this blog and if you would be so kind, you can add your additions on our CCN’s Facebook post. 

When I am getting all the paperwork packed into my bag, I have a mental checklist that goes like this : 

* The fancy buff coloured Marriage Certificate (or as the Attorney General's Department likes to call it “Form 15 Certificate of Marriage“), printed, and triple checked for spelling of names and addresses, and a spare just in case. 

* The Official Certificate of Marriage (Form 16) with the Declaration of no legal impediment to Marriage (Form 14), both triple checked for spelling. These forms can be filled in on line and printed out double sided on one sheet of paper, or can be filled out in one of CanPrints’ Green Books. 

“Please note under section 50(3) of the Marriage Act 1961, one of the official certificates of marriage shall be on the reverse side of the paper bearing the declaration of no legal impediment to marriage.”

* And your Marriage Register copy of the Official Certificate of marriage, which can be your “Red Book Marriage Register from CanPrint, or a printed copy that you store in a folder. And, of course, this is triple checked for spelling. 

* A copy of the ceremony printed out in large print (I left my glasses on the kitchen bench once, so I now always print my ceremonies out in large print just in case I have a glasses disaster again). 

* A presentation copy of the ceremony to give to the couple. 

* Any other special forms that may be required…….such as Interpreter forms (Form 24)

All of the forms are available through the Attorney General's Website:

And the Form 15 Marriage Certificate, the Green Book and the Red Book are available through CanPrint: https://marriage.infoservices.com.au/

Sorry for preaching to the converted, but it is information that is always worth repeating. 

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So what else do I tick off in my mental checklist? 

* Is the alternative plan needing to be put into place because of the weather?

* Have I packed a duo of beautiful (and working) pens?

* And my plain paperweights to hold down the tablecloth on the signing table?

Then there is the PA. 

* The day before the wedding I charge the PA. 

* Then I sound check (our neighbours must love my “One Two” roadie checks on a regular basis). 

* Are there new batteries in the cordless belt pack? 

* Are there new or charged batteries in the handheld mike? 

* Have I got a packet of appropriate batteries in my bag? 

* Are the wheels on my PA (or the PA carry box) working properly ? (Yes, I have had a wheel disaster in the past!) 

* Have I got the music selection sorted? 

* Does the music play properly? 

* Does the music work from my phone and a USB? 

* Is the music remote charged and operational? 

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Then there is me, and I am female, so this is from a female viewpoint. 

* Do I have a makeup repair kit in my bag? 

* Hairspray? Handy for more than just your hair!

* Shoes clean? 

* Outfit pressed and smick?

* Hair appliances fired up and ready………having just grown my hair long again, I am just getting the hang of these new fangled hair devices! 

* Eyebrows tidy? 

* Ditto for the legs? 

* Teeth cleaned to with a inch of their lives

* No garlic breath! 

* Mints in the bag. 

* Stockings? Multiple packs just in case! (what a great reason to wear pants!)

* Toilet stops….nothing worse than being outdoors miles from anywhere and needing the loo. 

Then there is the extras……..if you are truly well organised.

* A sewing kit for any bride/groom/mother of the bride disasters. 

* A notice for your windscreen letting people know where you are if they need to move your car. 

* A notice on your passenger seat outlining where you are going in case of an accident.
(I find this a tad creepy, but I do know others who insist on doing it). 
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And finally

* My voice…….well oiled so that it isn’t croaky. 

* My perfume……or lack of it.

* My jewellry, which is always selected for each wedding. 

* My shawl, which is always in a colour selected by the bride. 

* My smile. And as I love weddings, this is never a problem! 

What can you add? 

Pop over to our Facebook page and add your comments.




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May
03

Who is CCN?

Who is CCN?

Civil Celebrations Network Inc - CCN is a celebrant association who welcomes all civil celebrants to join. Whilst it’s not compulsory for celebrants to join an association it does give them the opportunity to be a part of a professional group of likeminded people;  to talk, share ideas and learn from each other’s experiences, and also to build a network of people that can be called upon in an emergency.

Civil Celebrations Network (CCN) Inc is an Australia wide, not for profit association run by a committee of dedicated celebrant volunteers who work together online throughout each month and then meet once a month via a teleconference call via the wonders of technology.

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Please Note: the faces on these screens are not CCN Members - we are all much better looking!
 
We are a member of CoCA - the Coalition of Celebrant Associations - Australia’s peak celebrant body

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and as the Attorney General department has made clear, they view a celebrant being a member of an association as evidence of a their professional attitude to the role.

Our members are civil celebrants (and students who are currently studying to become celebrants) who offer a range of services including, but not limited to:

🌷 Marriage ceremonies
🌷 Funeral ceremonies
🌷 Commitment ceremonies
🌷 Naming ceremonies
🌷 Memorial ceremonies
🌷 Blessingway ceremonies
🌷 Anniversary ceremonies
🌷 Vow Renewal ceremonies
🌷 Retirement ceremonies
🌷 Birthday ceremonies
🌷 Mother’s Day/Father’s Day ceremonies
🌷 Life Transition ceremonies
🌷 Ceremonies for launching a new boat, staring a new business, buying a house, getting a promotion and welcoming a new pet into your home.

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Photos: All photo by Shell Brown except bottom right by: Pixabay

CCN offers our members:
 
🌺 A celebrant directory where they can advertise their celebrancy practise.  
🌺Discussion forums where members can ask questions, seek advice and share stories and information
🌺A wealth of information on different celebrations, legalities of being a celebrant and much more
🌺Discounts on OPD, Insurance, Copyright Insurance and items at our celebrant shop
🌺A growing social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn
🌺Special celebrant features on our social media pages (Gold Members)
🌺Involvement in community programs, such as Marriage Equality, Mardi Gras & Dying to Know Day
🌺First hand information from CoCA via our two representatives
🌺A dedicated and hard working Committee who are willing to listen to their members

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Photo Source: Dying to Know

But… CCN is not just for celebrants….. there is also a great deal of information on our website and social media pages for you - the dear people of the general public:

🌼 Information about what you need to do if you want to get married
🌼 Need to know legalities of getting married in Australia
🌼 A celebrant directory where you can simply search for a celebrant by location
🌼 Information and ideas about ceremonies and how a civil celebrant can assist you
🌼 A fun and informative weekly blog that covers all areas of celebration
🌼 You can join in with our social media pages on FacebookInstagramTwitter and LinkedIn
🌼 Our shop isn’t just for celebrants - We have some lovely stationery for all occasions
🌼 Support for the LGBTQI community

"So, what would you like me to do?" I hear you ask....

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Celebrants:
1. join CCN - we’d love to have you
2. jump onto our social media pages and join the conversation
3. consider our shop for your next stationery purchase
4. look through our website for wonderful ideas
5. subscribe to our blog

Lovely People of the General Public:
1. engage a CCN celebrant via our directory
2. join us on social media
3. explore our website for information
4. share your support for equality
5. subscribe to our blog

Our cover photo features CCN Celebrants: Sonia Collins, Scott Broadbridge-Brown, Mary Napier and Symone Barry


🌹🌹🌹
Thank you for 
joining us....

👏🏼 We would love it if you would let us know what you think 🤔.  
There is a comment section 👍 at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  
🖲Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!

🐘 Don't forget to subscribe 💌 to this blog - the "subscribe" button is up the top of the page ⇞⇞⇞ and the blog will magically 🙌🏾 appear in your email inbox 📬.

Also please feel free to share 🎁 our blog on your social media 📲 so we can spread the love 💞! 
Please use this 🖇 link: https://www.celebrations.org.au/blog when you share. 🌻 

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Apr
08

Getting Married in Australia - The Legals

Getting Married in Australia - The Legals

The Marriage Act of 1961 says that you must comply with these six things below in order to get married in Australia:

1. your relationship must be between a man and a woman

2. you must be 18 years of age or over
(Under rare circumstances, a person between the age of 16 and 18 can marry, provided their prospective marriage partner is 18 years or over, and the couple have been granted permission by a Court)

3. you must not be married to anyone else

4. you cannot marry a person who is your antecedent or descendant by marriage or adoption

5. you must both be capable of and give free consent to marry the other 

6. you must lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form with your celebrant no earlier than 18 months and no later than 1 month before your ceremony
(A prescribed authority may authorise a marriage where a NOIM form is lodged within one month of the date of the ceremony - ask your celebrant for details)

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So, if you can say yes to all six of the Marriage Act rules, or you have been granted the necessary permissions, then you are clear to start planning with your celebrant.

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Making the union legal between you and your partner can sometimes be a confusing business which is why it's a great idea to #AskaCelebrant and they will explain all the requirements to ensure your marriage is legally valid.  

You can find a CCN Celebrant in your area through the CCN website.

Your celebrant must also sight original forms of your ID and divorce/death certificates (not photocopies) before the ceremony can take place. 

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Some legal things that you might not know:

It is an offence, punishable with fines and/or jail time:

* for a person to go ahead with their marriage when the haven't complied with the 6 rules stated above and for a celebrant if they knew and solomnised the marriage anyway
* for a couple or a celebrant to falsify documents, by giving false information or backdating forms and certificates

* for a person who is not an authorised celebrant to solemnise a marriage
* for an interpreter to give false information

During the ceremony

The celebrant must state that they are authorised to solemnise marriages according to the law, and recite the monitum - which literally means "warning" that informs a wedding couple of the legal expectation of the binding nature of marriage within Australia, then the couple states that they want to become legally married to each other.  

This all has to be done in front of your celebrant and 2 witnesses who are over 18.

To conclude the ceremony, you, your celebrant and your witnesses sign three certificates and then your paperwork is sent off to the BDM in the state your ceremony took place to be registered.

And that's it!  It's that simple!

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FAQ:
What about if I want to surprise my fiance and organise the wedding without them knowing?

I'm sorry, but this just can't happen.  
You can surprise your guests, but both people who are getting married must have full knowledge and be in agreement at least one full month before the ceremony date.

Can I marry my first cousin?

Yes, you can.

Will my name be changed after the ceremony?

No, If you choose to change your name after you are married, you can automatically take your partner's surname without doing anything.  You can officially change your name, by going into government departments - Passport Office, Department of Transport, your bank, Medicare, etc, however.... you will first need to obtain an official marriage certificate from the BDM in the state you were married in.  

The pretty certificate you get on the day is a legal document that shows you are married but is not accepted by government departments and others for changing your name.

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Read More Information Here

If you have any questions relating to legally getting married in Australia, you can find one right here: Find a CCN Celebrant

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Feb
22

Celebrating Who You Are

 
Celebrating who you are gives you an opportunity to thank family and friends for their love and support.

 

Be the reason to enable loved ones to come together to build stronger relationships.  Not one of us would be who we are today without "a little help" along the way.

 

There are plenty of times in our lives that should be celebrated, but we generally only acknowledge a few...

 

Our birthdays every year; a major anniversary, getting married and having a baby - they're the staples that most people celebrate, but what about all those other life transitions and accomplishments that are forgotten about?

 

Here's a few for you to contemplate....

 

Graduating:

 

Pre-school, primary school, high school and university.  Some people celebrate these monumental academic accomplishments with a ceremonial graduation along with their classmates, but there's nothing to stop you from also celebrating with your nearest and dearest loved ones too.

 

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Feb
04

11 Questions to Ask Your Celebrant

First of all,  what is the role of the celebrant?

The role of a civil celebrant is to:

  • work with couples and families to create a beautiful, meaningful ceremony that suits their style.
and in addition for a marriage ceremony:
  • witness two consenting adults entering into a legal and binding relationship.  
  • complete all the legal paperwork and make sure that it is all done within the strict legal rules set in the Marriage Act of 1961. 


Here are some questions that you might consider when engaging a civil celebrant.

1. Are you available on the date I’ve chosen for my wedding/anniversary party/baby naming/funeral?
 
This is probably the most important of questions because if the celebrant is not available on your preferred day, then the rest of the questions are irrelevant.

2. What paperwork is required before we can get married?
 
This is a great question because there is a strict time-frame as to when you need to have initial paperwork lodged with your celebrant.
 
3. Can we meet and get to know each other before we decide?

Of course! It’s always a good idea to meet with your celebrant and make sure you feel comfortable with them and that you get a feeling of trust - after all, they will be taking care of a very important event for you and your loved ones.

 

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Image source: https://trulymarvellousweddings.co.uk

3. What services do you offer?

This can be used as a good comparison between celebrants, but it also gives you reassurance that you will be receiving everything that you want/need for your ceremony.

4. What happens during the ceremony?

If you’ve not been to too many ceremonies - weddings, namings or funerals, you may not be aware of how a ceremony works.  Asking this question will help to give you a visual of how the ceremony will flow.
 
For example in a marriage ceremony where everyone will stand or when you’ll be able to kiss your new husband.

 

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Photo credit: Shell Brown

5. Are you willing to travel?

Fairly important if you’re planning to have your ceremony 500kms away from where the celebrant lives!

6. Do you provide a PA system?

As part of the Celebrant Code of Practice, celebrants must make sure that the ceremony can be heard.  So if you’re having your ceremony on the beach or in a field, it’s important that your celebrant is able to provide a good quality PA system.

 

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Image source: Pixabay

7. Do you have or will you take any other bookings on the same day?

Some celebrants will book more than one ceremony on a day, which is completely fine – however a professional celebrant will make sure there is enough time to get between venues without rushing and missing anything. 

 

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Image source: wixsite.com
 
8.  Why did you become a celebrant and what do you enjoy about being a celebrant?
 
Getting to know your celebrant a little and finding out what they love about being a celebrant should help you to decide whether they are a good fit for your style, your personality and your ceremony.
 

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Photo: CCN Celebrant Scott Broadbridge-Brown - Beyond Celebrancy
 
9. Are you a member of a professional celebrant association like CCN?

Professional celebrant associations like CCN - (Civil Celebrations Network) offer their members support, assistance and ongoing professional development.  Celebrants who are a part of an association are able to network with colleagues and share their knowledge and experience whilst having access to a vast amount of information to help improve their skills.
 
10. What are your fees?
 
Once you’ve decided that you'd like this celebrant to be a part of your ceremony, that is the time that you’d ask them about their fees.  Obviously each element of your ceremony needs to fit into a budget, but try not to make your decision based on fees alone. The ceremony is often the part that makes the event different to other family gatherings or parties, and remembered most when beautifully designed and delivered.
 
In regard to weddings, an article was written recently about the costs of weddings and the break down listed the celebrant as the lowest cost item on people’s budgets, which is surprising when you think of the amount of work that is done to personalise a ceremony and the fact that your marriage can’t actually begin without a celebrant.

 

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Image source: ASIC - Money Smart
 
11. Would you like to be our celebrant?

What a wonderful offer.  I’d be honoured!

 

* ________________________________________________ *


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Feb
01

Interfaith and cross cultural marriages: how a civil ceremony embraces everyone

Interfaith and cross cultural marriages: 
how a civil ceremony embraces everyone

 

One of the great things about Australia is our ability to embrace and adopt the spirit of other cultures.  This is demonstrated every day by walking around a major city in Australia and seeing how much cultural cuisine is on offer!  From Asia to Africa, Europe and the Pacific, Aussies love to eat.  We are currently enjoying the Lunar new year festivities, celebrations which have grown from the traditions of a cultural minority to include a wide range of groups and shared and enjoyed by all.

 

This same spirit of inclusiveness applies to civil ceremonies, and marriages of couples from different faiths or cultures are a great example of the way a civil celebrant can craft a marriage ceremony that incorporates both backgrounds.   A civil ceremony is a great option for couples who come from different faiths or cultural backgrounds and want to marry in a ceremony which combines their beliefs and provides a balanced ceremony respecting both parties.  
 
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Interfaith and cross cultural marriages are another way that civil celebrants uphold human rights.  Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that men and women who have attained the age of majority have the right to marry "without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion”.   

 

Couples planning to marry should consider how their backgrounds may impact on their married life.  Things to think about include:  how compatible are their underlying values and beliefs?  What does each think about faithfulness, children, worship, food and rituals?  If the couple is planning to have children, how will they be brought up?  How will the religious and cultural practices of each family be shared and respected?
Cross cultural ceremonies can also be used for baby namings, funerals, or to mark other major life events.   CCN celebrants have a wealth of experience and a variety of styles, knowledge and resources to help design a meaningful and inclusive ceremony.

 

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Ways in which a celebrant could incorporate different religious or cultural beliefs into a ceremony include: 

 

Readings:
Choosing readings from religious texts can add depth and meaning and highlight the beliefs and values of the couple.  

 

Music:
The couple can choose music to reflect their cultural background or include hymns, psalms or other religious songs.  

 

Rituals:  
A civil marriage ceremony can include rituals from different faiths or cultures.  
 
 
 
 
* ________________________________________________ *

 

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🐘 Don't forget to subscribe 💌 to this blog - the "subscribe" button is up the top of the page ⇞⇞⇞ and the blog will magically 🙌🏾 appear in your email inbox 📬.

 

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